the revolution will not be euthanized
by Michael Daley
Saw Captain Mortimer from the old ship, who was looking out for me,
big out-of-work guy in a white shirt on a bench beside the door.
A brotherhood of metal on metal, wood on wood,
of a class of men who get up to work and exhaust their bodies.
Much too fast come the discouraged dreams, sweeping my face like fish—
Do I see this? Am I listening? Do I believe?
How can I be so peaceful? I go along and remain unprovoked.
I ease back out of conscious choices—
Sing to me, Morty.
Are you asleep within
pale arms and dust?
Night supervises significant dilemmas,
overrides urgings of conscience.
The day’s light exposes a shame so common it gives me peace,
but not peaceable, no. No, not pacified. How can I think that?
I was never a young mind refreshed by lawlessness, or vanquished
by free will, my canoe will not overturn in the rushing stream.
contributor, 2018 third edition
Michael Daley's poems have appeared in APR, New England Review, Hudson Review, Ploughshares, Rhino, North American Review, Gargoyle, Writer's Almanac, and elsewhere. Awarded by Seattle Arts Commission, National Endowment of Humanities, Artist Trust, and Fulbright, his fourth collection of poetry, Of a Feather, was recently published. He lives in Anacortes, Washington.